June 2, 2016

SMCLC congratulates Residocracy and all those who worked hard to get the LUVE initiative on the ballot. As early supporters, we are writing to urge you to help LUVE pass in November. LUVE will put important development decisions in residents’ hands. It will force the City and developers to come up with better projects, realizing that residents would have the ultimate say.

LUVE made it on the ballot for one simple reason: residents are fed up with overdevelopment and the traffic gridlock it brings. Broken promises from City Hall and increasingly tourist-oriented planning have added to residents’ frustration.

In 2008, when SMCLC put Measure T on the ballot to limit commercial development, it received almost 45% of the vote despite a massive, well-funded and highly deceitful opposition campaign. That campaign, paid for almost entirely by developers, broke all expense records. Since then residents’ resolve to protect Santa Monica from overdevelopment has only grown. We expect LUVE to pass and become law.

Two recent events powerfully illustrate why we support LUVE:

1. The recently released draft Downtown “Community” Plan (DCP) which will control development over the next 20 years broke faith with residents. After 4 years of resident input that overwhelmingly showed that residents want lower, not higher buildings; a less dense and congested downtown with easier parking and more open space, City Hall came back with a DCP that is a blueprint for the opposite, including “fast-tracking” large projects with serious environmental impacts. See our letter objecting to this at: http://www.smclc.net/DSP3-7-16.html

Now, City Hall has delayed the Plan until after the election, claiming it needs another year of community input. That’s right -- after 4 years of meetings, surveys, protests, another year is somehow needed. Residents can read between the lines. http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2016/March-2016/03_31_2016_Vote_in_Santa_Monica_Dowwntown_Plan_Delayed_Yet_Again.html

2. The huge project proposed at 4th and Arizona downtown is moving forward, despite widespread community opposition. This project is on publicly owned land with a purchase price of over $100 million -- yet its major use is for a luxury hotel and offices. Why is the City proposing to build exactly what a private developer would build -- a zoning-busting, traffic-generating mega-commercial project? The stewardship of publicly owned land brings with it an obligation to use it for a real public benefit, such as badly needed open space like a park.

With the passage of LUVE, residents would vote on 4th and Arizona and decide whether other projects green-lighted by the City are right for Santa Monica.